Traditional Chinese painting dates
back to the Neolithic Age about 6,000 years ago. The excavated colored
potteries with painted human face, fish, deer and frog indicate
that the Chinese began painting as far back as the Neolithic Age.
The lines are succinct and vivid, which indicate the innate sensitivity
of the ancient artists in China.
Paintings or engravings found on precipitous cliffs are even more
ancient. The bright red cliff paintings have strong visual effects
in southern China that depict scenes of sacrificial rites, production
activities and daily life. In comparison, hunting, animal grazing,
wars and dancing are the main themes of cliff paintings in northern
Before paper was invented, the art of silk painting had been developing.
The earliest silk painting was excavated from the Mawangdui Tomb
in Changsha of the early time of Western Han (206BC-24AD). The painting
on silk, a T-shaped Banner, had high artistic value and the skill
of painting made much more progress.
The portraiture was developed after the Han Dynasty. During the
Eastern Jin Dynasty (317AD-420AD) the famous painter Gu Kaizhi made
great achievements on portraiture. His famous work Nushizhentu was
handed down. The introduction of Buddhism from India had great influence
on Chinese portraiture. Paintings of Buddhist divinities rapidly
spread and developed. The religious-subject art in the form of sculptures
and frescoes prevailed all over China during the Northern and Southern
Dynasty (420-589AD). At the same time, the Taoist paintings were
In the Tang Dynasty (618-907AD), Buddhist and Taoist
painting were flourishing. Wu Daozi and Yan Lide were representatives
of these genres of religious paintings. The painting of beautiful
women was another field of portraiture in the Tang Dynasty. Zhang
Xuan and Zhou Fang are most famous painters of this kind.
Chinese Landscape Painting produced in the Eastern Jin Dynasty.
Wuzhong Xishan Yiju Tu (the landscape of Wu) by Dai Kui and Xuejitang
Wulaofeng Tu (the wulao Mountain in snow) by Gu Kaizhi were regarded
as the earliest Chinese landscape paintings. During the Tang Dynasty,
landscape painting was well developed but the portraiture was still
dominated. There were a lot of famous painters appeared such as
Wu Daozi, Li Sixun and Wang Wei. Wu Daozi was respected as painting
sage by the late generations for his free, bold strokes and rich
imagination, which regenerate the previous style of fussy delineation
of details. Li Sixun was known for paintings of massive mountains
and also for his skillful color rendering. Wu and Li were regarded
as the founders of the Northern School of Chinese landscape painting.
Wang Wei was famous for his free and fast strokes and novelty of
conceptions. He applied the Broken-ink Style to paint thus he was
regarded as the founder of Southern School of Chinese landscape
painting. During the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), the culture flourished
with the economic development. Painting was elegant in style, reflecting
the general prosperity of the golden age of Chinese feudal society.
In Five Dynasties (907-960AD), landscape painting
further developed. Jing Hao, Huang Quan, Guan Tong and Xu Xi were
four famous painters. Jing Hao specialized in drawing mountain peaks
surrounded by clouds. Guan Tong was fond of painting hills in autumn,
forests in winter, rural habitations, country ferries, hermits and
ect. His work achieved impressive effects with the use of few strokes
and conveying rich meaning. Xu Xi specialized in painting flowers
and fruits. He used mere drops of ink to form leaves, branches and
flower buds, which gave his pictures an antique and distinguished
effect. Huuang Quan, when painting flowers and birds, he made sketches
first then filled colors. His skill of painting was called Shuanggouti
(double sketch method).
In the Song Dynasty (960-1279AD), the most representative
landscape painters included Li Cheng, Fan Kuan, Dong Yuan and Ju
Ran. Lii cheng’s works were like long distance panoramas swept into
view under the magic brush. The other three painters succeeded in
creating a sense of reality in painting of distant hills and in
changing colors without artificial sign. Emperor Huizong (1082-1135AD)
was also a master of painting and calligraphy in the Song Dynasty.
Ruihetu(auspicious cranes) and Furong Jinji Tu (pheasant on a blossoming
branch) were regarded as his representative works. The paintings
of Song Dynasty (960-1279AD), however, favored abstract, implied
meanings rather than direct expressions, painting skills matured
considerably, and the realistic style was in full blossom.
During the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368AD), Hung Gongwang,
Wang Meng, Wu Zhen and Ni Zan were most famous landscape painters.
Huang’s painting was very close to nature and with very high artistic
value. The Yuan Dynasty witnessed the flourish of the expressionist
school and many painters indulged in painting solely for personal
pleasure. Yuan literati painters no longer took truth to nature
as their goal but rather used painting as a vehicle for self-expression.
In the hands of highly educated scholar-artists, brushwork became
calligraphic and assumed an autonomy that transcended its function
as a means of creating representational
During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644AD), landscape
developed into three schools: Zhe, Wu and Yuan. Dijin was known
to be the leader of the Zhe School. His paintings of gods, human
beings, animals and flowers were very exquisite. Qiu Ying and Tang
Yin represented the Yuan School. Shen Zhou, Wen Zhengming, Dong
Qichang and Che Jiru were known as the four great landscape painters
of the Wu School.
During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911AD), the famous
painters included the four Wangs: Wang Shimin, Wang Yuanqi, Wang
Jian and Wang Hui, Monk Dao Ji and Badashanren (the eight famous
recluse monks) and Yangzhou Baguai (Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou)
were also well known.They inherited a realistic tradition and were
familiar with the the lives of ordinary people, they could expressed
their feelings in their works. Their emergences marked a fresh advance
in the history of Chinese painting and their works reflected the
new aesthetic standards embodied in a realistic, traditional style.
Wu Changshuo made extensive studies of inscriptions on ancient bronzes
and stone tablets. He incorporated this into his painting. His brushwork
gave impression of being cut or chiseled out of metal or stone.
During the Ming and Qing Dynasty, innovation was stressed, and delicate
seal marks, calligraphy, poems and frames increased the elegance
and beauty of the Chinese paintings. The painters of Ming and Qing
took painting as a medium to express their interests and feelings.
They painted with a vigorous boldness, caring little for meticulous
refinement. Gradually, Chinese painting became artistically “perfect”
during the Qing Dynasty.
The 10 most reknowned Chinese paintings handed down from
Ming Shang He Tu (Zhang Ze Duan, Song Dynasty)
Jun Tu (Lang Shi Ning Qing Dynasty)
Niu Tu (Han huang, Tang Dynasty)
Xi Zai Ye Yan Tu (Gu Hong zhong, Five Dynasties)
If you have interest in the high quality
imitations of famous Chinese paintings please contact me. I can help
you to get at the best price.
Shen Fu Tu (Gu Kaizhi, East Jin Dynasty)
Li Jiang Shan Tu (W Ximeng, Northern Song Dunasty)
Chu Shan Ju Tu (Huang Gong Wang, Yuan Dynasty)
Gong Chun Xiao Tu ( Qiu Ying, Ming Dynasty)
Nian Tu (Yan Li Ben, Tang Dynasty)
Lian Tu (Zhang Xuan Tang Dynasty)
Traditional Chinese painting innovations
At the beginning of the 20th century, with the New cultural Movement,
some painters from Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Guangzhou and Beijing
started to challenge the old tradition of Chinese painting by introducing
new art concepts from the West and establishing art school to train
artists. Most of these pioneer painters later became the backbone
of New China's Art after 1949. And some are still active even today.
The ink painting has conducted certain reforms earlier this century,
which may fall into two types. One reform was to get rid of the
morbid psychology of self-admiration that some scholar painters
in feudal China, and establishes a healthy style. In this respect
Qi Baishi, stood high above his contemporaries.
Qi's favorite subjects included flowers, insects, birds, landscapes
and human figures. He not only studied the skills of these forerunners
such as Xu Wei, Zhu Da, Yuan Ji and Wu Changshuo but also carefully
observed the objects that he sketched. Outwardly he seemed to be
very casual, but the flowers and birds painted by his hand all possessed
the characteristics they should have. With fluent lines and bright
colors, he created a world full of life and rhythm.
The second type of reform was to accept Western art concepts and
techniques and combine them with good tradition of Chinese painting.
The pioneers tried to create a brand new national painting form
on the basis of the existing form. One of the representatives in
this bold experiment was Xu Beihong (1895-1953AD), who served in
his lifetime as president of the Central Fine Arts Institute and
chairman of the Chinese Artists Association.
Xu Beihong was most famous for his painting of horses. With a solid
foundation in Chinese painting, he drew on the best techniques from
Western painting. In his paintings of human figures or animals,
he was most accurate in the depiction of both spirit and form. Xu
Beihong works demonstrated his strong personality and creative spirit
but also his patriotism, his sympathy with the working class, and
his deep hatred for all evils.
Traditional Chinese painting is one part of quintessence of China’s
traditional cultural heritage. It must be have vigorous life. It
must carry forward in the future.
Classification of Chinese Traditional Painting
Traditional Chinese painting has its special materials and tools,
consisting of brushes, ink and pigments, xuan paper, silk and various
kinds of ink slabs. Based on different classification standards,
Chinese traditional painting can be divided into several groups,
According to painting techniques, Chinese painting can be divided
into two styles: xieyi style and gongbi style. Xieyi, or freehand,
is marked by exaggerated forms and freehand brushwork. Gongbi, or
meticulous, is characterized by close attention to detail and fine
brushwork. Freehand painting generalizes shapes and displays rich
brushwork and ink techniques.
The principal forms of traditional Chinese painting are the hanging
scroll, album of paintings, fan surface and long horizontal scroll.
Hanging scrolls are both horizontal and vertical, usually mounted
and hung on the wall. In an album of paintings the artist paints
on a certain size of xuan paper and then binds a number of paintings
into an album, which is convenient for storage. Folding fans and
round fans made of bamboo strips with painted paper or silk pasted
on the frame. The long, horizontal scroll is also called a hand
scroll and is usually less than 50 centimeters high but maybe up
to 100 meters long.
Traditional Chinese paintings can be classified as figure paintings
such as Buddha ‘s images and women’s figures, landscapes and flower
and bird, fish and insect, paintings. Landscapes represent a major
category in traditional Chinese painting, mainly depicting the natural
scenery of mountains and rivers.
The features of traditional Chinese painting:
Traditional Chinese painting is an important part of China’s cultural
heritage. It is executed on silk or Xuan Paper with Chinese brush,
ink and pigments consisting of minerals and vegetable colors. Traditional
Chinese painting seldom follows the convention of central focus
perspective or realistic portrayal, but gives the painter freedom
on artistic conception, structural composition and method of expression
so as to better express his subjective feelings. Chinese painting
has absorbed the best of many forms of art, like poetry, calligraphy,
and seal engraving. The brush techniques so much emphasized in Chinese
painting include line and texture (cunfa), the dotting method (dianfa)
and the application of color (ranfa). For traditional Chinese painting,
poetry, calligraphy and seal engraving are necessary components
that can supplement and enrich the content and artistic attraction.
"Painting in poetry and poetry in painting" has been a
criterion for excellent works. Inscriptions and seal impressions
help explain the painter's ideas and sentiments and also add beauty
to the painting.
Here are some Chinese paintings painted
by famous artists on sale. If you have interest welcome to contact
Blossoms, Orchid, Bamboo and Chrysanthemum Scroll
painting of the Four Season Scroll is 155x40cm and the center is
107x31cm. The whole set costs 350USD including shipping. Each painting
of the Plum Blossoms, Orchid, Bamboo and Chrysanthemum Scroll is
140x39cm and the center is 95x29cm. The whole set costs 300USD including
shipping. If you want other Chinese paintings please tell me. I
can send you the pictures of the artist's work with flowers, birds,
characters, and landscape.
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If you have interest in traditional Chinese painting, I can help
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